Chugs are a mixed breed, crossed between the Chihuahua and the Pug, which are known to suffer from similar health problems to both of their parent breeds. Chugs can suffer from several diseases and health conditions, such as issues with their legs, eyes, and respiratory systems, but they can still be expected to live long and happy lives.
As with any dog, you want to make sure that you have as much information as possible about what issues they might face in the future if you are thinking about bringing one into your family. If you feel that you want to learn more, you can always get in touch with a vet and start asking questions.
This article will go into detail about the adorable Chihuahua Pug mixed breed, the common health issues that they are likely to face, and other information that is important for owners worried about their dog’s health and happiness.
Table of Contents
- Where Do Chugs Come From?
- How Long Do Chugs Live?
- Are Mixed Breeds More Healthy Than Purebred Dogs?
- Are Pugs and Chihuahuas Healthy Dogs?
- Are Chugs Healthier than Pugs and Chihuahuas?
- Do Chugs Develop Breathing Problems?
- Can Chugs Develop Problems with Their Legs?
- Are Chugs Susceptible to Eye Problems?
- How Do I Know if My Chug Puppy is Healthy?
- Can a Vet Tell Me My Dog’s Genetic Health?
- What if My Chug Doesn’t Come with Genetic Health Information?
- Can Chugs Become Overweight?
- What Should My Chug’s Diet Be?
- How Much Exercise Do Chugs Need?
Where Do Chugs Come From?
Chugs are a crossbreed, combining the genetics of the Chihuahua, from Mexico, and the Pug, an ancient breed from China. These two breeds have been mixed together for many years, but the Chug started to gain particular popularity in the last twenty to thirty years and is now a highly sought-after designer dog.
How Long Do Chugs Live?
Both Chihuahuas and Pugs have quite a reasonable lifespan, which the Chug inherits, so you can expect your dog to live on average between 10 and 13 years. It is not uncommon for chugs to live even longer than this and, if they are healthy and fortunate, they are known to live for 15 years or more.
Are Mixed Breeds More Healthy Than Purebred Dogs?
In general, it is believed that mixed breeds are less likely to develop genetic disorders than purebred dogs because they come from a wider gene pool. While this has not been definitively proven, many breeders specifically breed mixes to try and improve the health and wellness of the dogs and avoid the issues that purebred dogs face from inbreeding.
Are Pugs and Chihuahuas Healthy Dogs?
To understand the health problems that your Chug might face throughout its life, you first need to look at the health of its parents, which they are likely to inherit. Both Chihuahuas and Pugs are known for developing certain issues, particularly those that have had their distinctive features exaggerated too much through years of selective breeding.
Are Chugs Healthier than Pugs and Chihuahuas?
Though Chugs do inherit some health problems, their crossbreeding can also counter some of their genetic issues by combining the healthier traits of both breeds. Ultimately, the health of each individual is unique and depends on the specifics of their genetic makeup, so you want to know as much as you can about the history of your Chug’s parents.
Do Chugs Develop Breathing Problems?
Pugs can develop breathing problems because the shape of their face can make the breathing passage too compacted, so they will pant heavily and make more noise when breathing. Dogs with this face shape are known as “brachycephalic”, so if your Chug has inherited the head of their pug parent then respiratory issues are more likely.
Can Chugs Develop Problems with Their Legs?
Both Pugs and Chihuahuas can have issues with their legs, so it is no surprise that Chugs can inherit these as well. Hip dysplasia (A deformation of the hip socket that causes lameness or arthritis) and patellar luxation (When one or both knees are loose and can slip out of place) are two common conditions to look out for.
Are Chugs Susceptible to Eye Problems?
One of the most prominent features of Chugs, Chihuahuas, and Pugs are their big, beautiful eyes, but the fact that they protrude from their face can cause issues. Chugs may develop cataracts, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, cherry eye, or dry eye, so you need to pay particular attention to their eye health – especially as they get older.
How Do I Know if My Chug Puppy is Healthy?
You should always make sure that you are buying from a reputable breeder that is able to show you certification of the health of your puppy’s parents. In particular, ask for patella certifications from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals and certification from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation to know that their eyes and legs are likely to be healthy.
Can a Vet Tell Me My Dog’s Genetic Health?
It is vital that you are having your puppy checked at the vet’s regularly, but they can only give you so much information. Your vet will not have specific knowledge of your dog’s genetic history unless the breeder has provided you with written documentation of the health of their parents, so try to get this if you can.
What if My Chug Doesn’t Come with Genetic Health Information?
If you are adopting a Chug, or otherwise have a little pup whose genetic history you don’t know, then you want to do as much research as possible and keep a close eye on your dog as they get older. Knowing what you are looking out for will help you to be prepared, as will communicating with your veterinarian.
Can Chugs Become Overweight?
Because they are such small dogs, it is easy to overfeed Chugs, and obesity is likely to increase the severity and risk of any other health problems. Once they have reached 1-2 years of age, your Chug should stop getting any heavier, and they usually weigh between 10lbs and 20lbs once they have made it to full size.
What Should My Chug’s Diet Be?
To keep your Chug at a healthy weight, they only need around one cup of kibble per day, which should be spread over two meals to avoid bloating and overfeeding. They should be eating high-quality dog food with high-grade ingredients and a healthy ratio of protein to carbohydrates, ideally one that is formulated specifically for small dog breeds.
How Much Exercise Do Chugs Need?
Chugs are relatively relaxed dogs that don’t need a huge amount of exercise, but they still need to be kept physically and mentally active to stay healthy. One 30 minute walk a day should be enough, but they will also want some dedicated play indoors so that they remain energetic and well stimulated throughout the day.